#18 Best Public Universities in California

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

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San Francisco State University overview
Location San Francisco, California
Online sfsu.edu
School Type Public 4 Year
Setting Large City
San Francisco State University overview
Size Large
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad/Graduate
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San Francisco State University (SFSU), a public university located in San Francisco, California, offers a diverse and comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded in 1899 as a normal school for aspiring teachers, the institution has evolved into a significant urban campus known for its liberal arts and sciences, and has gained prominence for its competitive cinema and ethnic studies programs. Set against the backdrop of the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of San Francisco, SFSU presents a stimulating environment with its modern architecture interspersed with green spaces. The university's application process is generally selective, drawing a sizable number of applicants each year. SFSU provides on-campus housing options to accommodate a proportion of its student body. While the university participates in NCAA Division II athletics as the Gators, it is not primarily recognized for its sports programs.

In the most recent statistical year 29,932 prospective students applied, and 28,195 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 3,339 enrolled in the school.  19,463 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 5,819 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $5,742 plus fees of $1,782. San Francisco State is ranked 789 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












San Francisco State is rated within the lower 41% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 5 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


Rankings for San Francisco State University within the 2024 CollegeSimply Best Colleges Lists.

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

Extremely Easy
San Francisco State University overview
SAT 930/1130
ACT 16/23
GPA 3.31

Applications Accepted

San Francisco State University overview
Applications Due Nov 30, 2023
Applicant Competition Very Low
Application Fee $70

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Annual Cost to Attend

California Resident Tuition

In State Costs for San Francisco State University
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,099
Other Fees$1,782
Room and Board $17,955
Budget for Other Expenses$2,547
Total One Year Cost$29,125

Out of State Resident Tuition

Out of State Costs for San Francisco State University
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,099
Other Fees$1,782
Room and Board $17,955
Budget for Other Expenses$2,547
Total One Year Cost$41,005

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

$52,600 per year

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

46% within 6 years

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Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by San Francisco State University students
Subject Percent of Class
Business 22%
Social Sciences 9%
Communication 9%
Visual and Performing Arts 9%
Psychology 7%

View All 79 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=122597 IPEDS survey data for San Francisco State University.

Current students may use the San Francisco State University GPA calculator to determine their current college GPA.